We left Santo Domingo at around 3 am local time to head to the border. The Haiti border was completely closed off at night for security reasons, and despite the fact the we were only around 120 miles away the trip would take us around 10 hours. The road was unpaved, too narrow for two way traffic, and lined with small villages and houses. This caused our van to be unable to reach a high top speed, pull over often to let other vehicles by, and be restricted by low speed limits in inhabited areas. Unfortunately due to the lighting conditions in the middle of the night I was unable to capture these images.
As we approached the border we entered a town of small city. There were people and livestock on the streets going about their daily business, some wearing surgical masks. If this was to prevent catching a disease or prevent spreading one, I don't know. As we drew closer to the border we passed a military barracks, and saw armed soldiers on the street. These were the Dominican border guard.
This is the view out of the left side of our bus when we arrived at the border. We were stopped, had out passports collected, and told to wait in the bus. After a period of a few minutes our passports were returned, stamped by the Dominican government, and the border gate was opened for us to pass.
As the gates opened, I captured my first view of Haiti out of the front windshield of our vehicle. The Haitian side of the border was cluttered with people, vehicles, and ramshackle structures made of corrugated metal, sticks or timber, and cloth. Obviously these were temporary structures thrown up by Haitian refugees trying to flee across the border. The main task of the armed Dominican guards became apparent: to keep the Haitians from flooding over the border.
The Haitian government had no presence on its own side of the border. I snapped a shot of what i assume was their version of customs, but no one appeared to be inside. No officials came to authenticate and stamp our passports. I can only assume every available resource of the government had its hands full in the capital. With no immigration officers to check in with, we headed on towards Port-au-Prince.
After passing the "quarantaine" building I was greeted with this sight. It seemed to be an echo of the former beauty and splendor Haiti once possessed, reverberating years out of its own time. It was a brief respite from the clutter and chaos at the border, before we plunged into the disaster and devastation of the earthquake ravaged land.
- Arrival at the Hospital
- Hey guys sorry for the lack of posts. I've been r...
- Well I'm a little pressed for time and a little em...
- Temporary Housing
- Scenes on the Street
- More Destruction
- Entering Port-au-Prince
- Entering Haiti
- Santo Domingo
- I have decided to try to make this account of my t...
- ▼ February 2011 (11)